The Pier - St. Petersburg, FL

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by creekland on March 5, 2005

The pier in downtown St. Petersburg resembles an upside-down pyramid. It is part of a line of parks and marinas along the shore of Tampa Bay. We parked in a free parking area north of the pier itself and enjoyed a stroll through the parks to get to the pier. For those with kids, there are playgrounds for breaks in the walk.

If one prefers less walking, there is paid parking at the pier with free shuttles out to the main building.

The view is great and looks out over Tampa Bay toward Tampa or back to the city of St Pete (pending direction you are looking). You can walk around the outside of the pier and see locals fishing. One can also feed the pelicans - 10 fish for $5 when we were there. We let our three boys share a bucket of fish and enjoyed watching them. Boat tours of Tampa Bay leave from the area, as do dolphin-watching trips. At the front entrance one can buy tickets for these.

Inside are shops, restaurants, and a small aquarium on the second level. There is also a tourist welcome center staffed by friendly people who can answer questions about the area and provide brochures, etc. On the fifth level (top) you can again go outside for a nice view of the bay or the city.

We hung around for quite a while watching pelicans dive for fish, boats sailing on the bay, airplanes taking off and landing on the nearby small airstrip, and in general, enjoying the great outdoors along the water.

For the budget-minded, there is no charge to get in or walk around seeing the sites as we did (the aquarium can have a small charge - it's free on Sundays, though). For those wanting to be tourists, there are gift shops and restaurants, as well as the boat tours, that one can spend money on. No one is pressured to spend anything, or do anything, and the locals seem to enjoy the area as much as the tourists.

The Pier
2nd Ave NE
St. Petersburg, Florida, 33701

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